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Rediff.com  » News » New medical reports confirm 5 more rapes at Bihar shelter home

New medical reports confirm 5 more rapes at Bihar shelter home

Last updated on: July 29, 2018 20:13 IST

IMAGE: Police personnel escort children out of a government-funded shelter in Muzaffarpur last week. Photograph: PTI Photo

The number of minor girls allegedly sexually abused at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur has increased to 34, with fresh medical reports confirming rape of five more girls, a senior police officer said on Sunday.

On July 24, Director General of Police K S Dwivedi had said 29 inmates of the state-funded home were raped.

 

Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Harpreet Kaur told PTI over phone on Sunday that fresh medical reports of 13 girl inmates have confirmed that five of them were sexually abused.

Two of the 44 shelter home inmates were not presented before the medical board as one of them, a four-year-old mentally challenged girl, was at Madhubani, while the other, who had been shifted to Mokama in Patna, was unwell, the SSP said.

The issue of the alleged sexual exploitation of girls at the shelter home, run by an NGO, was first highlighted in an audit report submitted by the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Mumbai, to the state's Social Welfare Department in April.

A first information report was lodged on May 31 against 11 people, including Brajesh Thakur, the owner of the NGO which ran the government-funded shelter home for destitute girls.

On July 26, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the matter.

The opposition -- Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist -- had sought a probe into the case by the CBI with the high court monitoring it.

The CBI has taken over the investigation, an official said on Sunday.

The SSP said a Forensic Science Laboratory team, which had already visited the place earlier, was called again to visit the shelter home on Saturday.

A magistrate, videographers and a team of doctors accompanied the FSL team in light of allegations levelled by the inmates that they were administered drugs at the shelter home, Kaur said.

The doctors have seized some drugs from the room where the girls had their weekly check ups.

The doctors' team is likely to submit its report in this regard on Monday, she said, adding that Muzaffarpur Zone Inspector General Sunil Kumar and Muzaffarpur Range Deputy Inspector General Anil Kumar Singh also visited the place on Saturday.

Police have already submitted a charge sheet against 10 accused persons on July 26 before a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Court, the SSP said.

A proclamation notice issued by the special court has been pasted at the house of another accused, Dilip Kumar Verma, who has been evading arrest.

10 out of 11 accused people have been arrested till now.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has made it clear that the state government, during the next hearing, would itself request the high court to monitor the CBI inquiry into the matter.

Meanwhile, officials said on Sunday that the NGO which runs the Muzaffarpur shelter home was sanctioned another project by the Bihar welfare department for running a beggars' home in Patna.

The NGO, however, was removed from the project after the allegations of sexual offences of the girls in Muzaffarpur became public, Social Welfare Department director Raj Kumar said.

"The department neither gave any work order nor signed any agreement with 'Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti' for the project. It had only issued a letter for carrying out inspection of the building which was to be used for running the beggars' home," Kumar told PTI.

The order for inspection of the building to be used as the beggars' shelter home was issued on May 31, the day an FIR was lodged against 11 persons including Brajesh Thakur.

"A selection committee had chosen some NGOs in April for running the beggars' shelter home under the Mukhya Mantri Bhikshavriti Niwaran Yojana. We removed the NGO from the project on June 6 after the allegations of sexual exploitation surfaced," Kumar said.

The CBI has booked officers and employees of the shelter home.

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